This Week on the Hill: Congress Wraps up June Session with Key Legislative Items

June 24, 2019

The House and Senate stand will return to action later this afternoon to kick off a busy week of floor activity. In the House, lawmakers will look to pass the second appropriations “minibus” early this week prior to moving onto consideration of the spending bill for Financial Services and General Government (FSGG). House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stated last week that it’s possible that the spending bills for the Legislative Branch and Homeland Security could get tacked onto the FSGG bill, as Democratic leadership has stressed that they want to clear all 12 appropriations measures prior to the Independence Day district work period. In addition to its work on appropriations, the lower chamber will also consider a bill that seeks to bolster election security through authorization of new funding for Election Assistance Commission Grants to states for securing their voting systems. 

Meanwhile, Congress is poised to begin a contentious debate over President Donald Trump’s funding request for “humanitarian needs” at the U.S.-Mexico border. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated last week that he plans to bring a bipartisan $4.6 billion supplemental appropriations bill for a vote prior to the Independence Day district work period. The House — which released a $4.5 billion measure that includes less money for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and extra oversight demands not included in the Senate bill — is aiming for a Tuesday vote on its measure, which will likely need to be reconciled in a conference committee between the two chambers.

In addition to the border supplemental, the Senate will hold a procedural vote to begin consideration of its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S. 1790). While over 400 amendments to the underlying text have been submitted, Senate Armed Services Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) indicated last week that a package of roughly 90 amendments will be considered on the floor. Timing on final passage of the NDAA is unclear at this point, as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has threatened to stymie amendment debate if his provision — which would let the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) expire — does not get floor time. Senate Democrats are also expected to make a push for an amendment that would require Congressional authorization for any military action against Iran.